The Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held annually in Munich at the Theresienwiese, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 6 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of the Bavarian culture since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event.
Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Bavaria on October 12,1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields have been named Theresienwiese ("Theresa's meadow") in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the "Wies'n".
Originally, the purpose of this festival was to use up the remains or the beer storage before the start of each new brewing season in Marchl. For this reason, it was far to the 20th Century in many places in Bavaria Oktoberfest, but of which none ever reached the size of the Munich Oktoberfest.
Since 1950, there has been a traditional festival opening: A twelve gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at 12:00 by the incumbent Mayor of Munich with the cry "O' zapft ist!" ("It's tapped!" in the Austro-Bavarian language) opens the Oktoberfest. The Mayor then gives the first beer to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria. The first mayor to tap the keg was Thomas Wimmer.